Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's Like Someone Literally Wrote Down My Worst Nightmare and Then Charged Me $32 to See It!

I went to see my boyfriend perform in an opera yesterday. I got to watch him play a sex slave in a brothel during Act II. The title of this entry pretty much speaks for itself. As a fellow performer, of course I understand that as an actor, these days more often than not, you will have to kiss, hug, and be pretty intimate as part of your role in a performance. This is something I have always taken for granted as normal, until yesterday.

In middle and high school, I remember vividly the reaction that occurred anytime two character had to kiss in a show. Those poor kids had to try and shove all self esteem, sexual confusion, and awkwardness issues out the door, to be brave enough in that moment, generally to be met by whoops and laughter upon completion of the task. Easy? No. Of course, at that point in your life it's even harder to distinguish pretend from reality. When your hormones are going nuts, when most of us are would give anything for a kiss from someone special, how can you not separate your true feelings from that moment. Kissing is nice.

In college, things went a bit further. I took an acting for non-acting majors class and was paired with the cutest guy in the class to do a VERY romantic scene from a play adaption of The Lady with the Little Dog. For those of you not familiar, this play tells the story of two people who fall in love and have a torrid affair. Both of these characters are married to other people. In this particular scene, we are in bed, being affectionate basically doing the proverbial, "What the heck are we doing, but wait this feels so right" dance. Turns out, this scene was actually HARDER with a guy that I found attractive because it felt like an awkward battle of how much is the character and how much is me? As an actor, how much of yourself goes into the role? In the end, my true-to-feeling discomfort played to my advantage as my character was trying to distance herself from the passion to see reason. Phew, lucky break on that one. As a result from this experience, I came to find that these scenes often are as sexy as a calculus class and I developed a respect for anyone who could get through those parts of plays.

Considering my last two roles in shows were a nun and a demur Japanese virgin, I haven't come face-to-face with this dilemma in recent, and I have never been in a relationship when performing lascivious acts on stage. Also, at this point, I'd been lucky with my boyfriend, he hadn't had to do anything questionable on stage. In reality, it's amazing this has not come up sooner.

So now we're up to the present, before the performance I had been told that their might be a scene with some "PG" intimacy. Scene unfolds, there is my boyfriend in an Aladdin outfit, with a short adorable girl in tow wearing a red Jasmine outfit. F$%#! For 20-30 minutes they are literally center stage during the music, she's lying on the floor, bare leg in the air, being fondled by my boyfriend. Awesome. Now, I understand that as a chorister in a sexy brothel scene, a little bit of sexy must occur. But. In my mind, this felt more like girlfriend and boyfriend acting out a brothel scene, not two slaves whoring it out with each other. Intimacy and sex are two different things.

I guess the question is this, Is it better if he's in the moment picturing me, and showing the world how he's intimate with me? Or, if "in the mind set of the character" he's focused his attraction to the half-naked girl? In my mind, showing attraction even in a play, ALWAYS comes from somewhere real, maybe not all of it, but that's method acting. Otherwise, it looks fake to me. For example, later on in the scene, he's sort of petting a half naked guy. That was not convincing at all. So, am I overreacting?

Probably a little bit. I mean, even if he's in the chorus he should be committed to the moment right? Even if every other person on that stage didn't look near as familiar as the two center stage slutty slave... So now my boyfriend is the best actor on stage at that moment? Hmm... Perhaps if I'd been at the show with friends or family I could have laughed some of it off. At the same time, I might have been even more humiliated.

Dating an actor has it's pros and cons. Actors are EXTREMELY slutty touchy-feely people. Perhaps being so constantly emotionally charged has its draw-backs, knowing what's coming from a real place vs. what's conjured in the moment? You see so many examples of famous actors (TALENTED actors) who so easily lose that line. Look at Heath Ledger or the infamous Brangelina. Not that I think this would or could happen to me, but it makes you wonder why so many Hollywood marriage fail.

You have to find that balance between what you do on stage and try not to take that home with you. Where do you draw the line, does that line apply to what happens on the stage? Apparently the stage is the new Vegas, what happens there... well you get it. And as the partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, maybe it's beneficial to the relationship to skip those questionably racy performances. As long as he comes home to you, why pay good money to be given even a shred of doubt that he won't?

Title Quote from FRIENDS